Ohio State Integrative Medicine has grown from an outpatient clinic to an organization with a full academic mission.

In 2005, the Ohio State University College of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine created the Integrative Medicine Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic at 2000 Kenny Road. Unusual to find at an academic medical center, the clinic offers integrative care from medical doctors, plus chiropractic, massage and acupuncture therapy. Since then, the clinic has grown to provide nearly 25,000 visits annually.

The same year saw the creation of Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care and an employee benefits plan that fosters a culture of well-being called Your Plan for Health. In 2008, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center was one of the first 50 academic medical centers in North America to be accepted into the prestigious Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. In the spring of 2010, Ohio State hosted the Consortium’s annual meeting.

Soon thereafter, Ohio State invited national leaders, including Bravewell Leadership Award winner Dr. Brian Berman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Susan Folkman of the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer of the University of Minnesota, to suggest next steps in advancing integrative health at Ohio State and how to move the university from “excellence to eminence.” A steering committee provided in-house advice and perspective on local needs.

In 2011, Dr. Bernadette Melnyk joined Ohio State to become the dean of the College of Nursing and lead the University’s Health and Wellness Council to integrate wellness activities for students, staff and faculty. The goal of this initiative? To become the healthiest campus in the world.

A year later, Ohio State created Ohio State Integrative Medicine, expanding from the outpatient clinic to a full academic mission of clinical care, education, research and community engagement. To achieve this broad mission, Ohio State recruited a national leader in the field, Dr. Kathi Kemper, who founded and directed holistic and integrative centers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences. In addition, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center created its own Health and Wellness Council to promote health and wellness among medical center faculty, staff and students, while Ohio State medical students founded the medFit program.

In 2013, Ohio State’s Office of Academic Affairs identified “health and wellness” as one of its three discovery themes, or focus areas of teaching, research and engagement during the next decade. 

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